Grow at Home (or on the go!)
Just as we prepared for 40 days to experience more fully Jesus’ triumph over the grave at Easter, the season following Easter is an opportunity to celebrate and live into the reality of the resurrection for 50 days (from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday). Sometimes called “Eastertide” or “Easter Season,” for many modern Americans spring brings so many outdoor activities that it is easy to move past Easter too quickly. The unique circumstances in our world for the next weeks and months afford a unique opportunity to live into the reality of Easter in more intentional ways. Here are some resources between now and Pentecost. Some are daily practices of reading Scripture and prayer; others are brief thoughts and exercises to help you
Resources for Personal Spiritual Growth
...with our “Following Jesus” resource. In whatever time you have during the week, read over the assigned Scripture for Sunday (and also Wednesday evening) and review the questions at the end of each section. You may want to refer to the guidance for reading on pp. 2-3 of the guide, Making the Most of Your Reading. You will find all of these readings linked below, or you can view the entirety of the "Following Jesus" resource (Part 2) here.
This week's "Following Jesus" resource
Following Jesus Together online Bible Study, Sundays at 9:30 am (more info)
...but would like a daily focus, Our Daily Bread provides a brief thematic devotional reflecting on a passage in the Bible with an accompanying image. It is available in several formats: text, audio, email subscription, podcast and more. It can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet through a free app or as a podcast. You can set daily reminders to help you maintain consistency.
“Pray as You Go” offers ten to thirteen minute structured daily prayer sessions designed to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly while you travel to and from work or go for walks, etc. It is contemplative in style, combing music, scripture and reflection questions. Based on the Ignatian style of prayer, Pray as You Go aims to help you:
- Become more aware of God’s presences in your life
- Listen to and reflect on God’s word
- Grow in your relationship with God
Life with God, Interrupted was prepared by Brian Wallace, Executive Director of Fuller Seminary’s Center for Spiritual and Missional Formation to provide help in adapting your daily spiritual practices in light of COVID-19. This structured mini-course will help you develop spiritual practices during this time Note: if you receive a warning from your browser, rest assured this is a safe link.
Max Lucado offers 5 steps to take in dealing with anxiety so that we can “Interrupt the Downward Spiral.”
Tim Keller, pastor emeritus of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City, reflects on Scripture to help people care for themselves during this crisis in “Resilience and Burnout.” Following a 4 minute introduction, Dr. Keller speaks for under 20 minutes.
Jerry Sittser, author of A Grace Disguised in a 60 minute interview with Kay Warren, on the 7th anniversary of the loss of her son. addresses “Grief and Loss during COVID-19.” If you are dealing with grief during this time, or are helping others amidst their own grief, hear the wisdom of two who have dealt with catastrophic loss in their own lives.
Mark Lagon, writes “Loving Your Neighbor in a Pandemic.” Mark is Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. He previously served as U.S. Ambassador at Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
There are also some substantive video presentations that have been broadcast recently. Unless otherwise noted, each lasts about 60 minutes (many are on platforms that allow viewing at a slightly faster speed).
For those interested in the relationship between Christian faith and science, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health addresses “Science and Faith in Pandemic Times.”
For those interested in the interface between medicine and ethics, a physician and a Christian ethicist address a wide range of issues related to COVID-19 in “What Says the Great Physician? Moral Reflection, Medical Ethics, and Cultural Narratives Amid COVID.”
For a compelling 90 minute interreligious conversation from the perspectives of a Roman Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew and a Muslim, jointly sponsored by The Trinity Forum and Baylor University in Washington, watch Communities of Faith & Covid-19.